Achillée 2017 — Chenin Blanc
A Wine That
is subtle and generous; with a lovely mineral spritz and zesty, bitter aromas of grapefruit pith, chamomile and even a hint of basil. It's got some plushness to the palate; this isn't your average Chenin. Instead, think of it as a music festival Chenin—it's a little wilder, a little less rigid, a little more daring.
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- Delivery: Delivery and gift wrapping options available at checkout.
- Winemaker: Deboutbertin
Where & How?
This is from a 0.77 hectare plot of 30-year-old vines in Faye d'Anjou. Rhyolites (a heavy primary rock comprising iron, magnesium, feldspar and quartz) are dominant in the soils here. Farmed biodynamically by Stéphanie, Vincent and their horses.
Yields are low due to extreme terroir and gentle farming. The juice was whole cluster pressed and fermented naturally, ageing in old oak barrels in their cool cellar for 18 months. Bottled unfined, unfiltered and with no sulphur: this is just fermented grape juice.
Stéphanie Debout and Vincent Bertin (hence Deboutbertin) met at university while studying engineering. They moved to Paris, but quickly became disillusioned with city life and pined for the countryside. One of their friend’s fathers, Jean-Philippe Fichet, is a winemaker in Burgundy, and on a trip to visit him they became entranced by his passion for the craft of winemaking. That was that. They decided to go and do a vintage with a winemaker in the Loire in 2011 to test the waters, and in Stéphanie’s words, it was love at first sight. They had fallen for the vigneron life. By 2012, they had handed in their resignation notices, bought a house and a vineyard, and signed up for winemaking school.
For them, the most important thing is the overall health of their vineyards. This has brought them to agroforestry, and they now interplant their vineyards with trees. In doing so, they break the monocultural mould of the vineyard, instead creating an area in which other species of plants can thrive. This is a young couple who demonstrate vinous minimalism in the best way possible. These are pure wines of soul that have nothing added, nothing taken away. They speak of healthy vineyards, healthy people and a love for nature. People often debate what natural wine is; well, it doesn’t get more natural than this.